How timely: it’s my 4th anniversary this week and I have been given the big second chance….
Four years ago, Bill and I were married outdoors at our new home on Martha’s Vineyard. The skies cleared from the deluge of rain that poured from the heart of Hurricane Hannah just long enough for us to say our vows and file into the big tent in our backyard. The rains returned just one hour post-ceremony, hammering against the tent as Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish jazzed us around the dance floor in a whirlwind of mud and Chardonnay. We were over the top happy and our good-natured guests tossed their shoes to the side and slid around with us in our mud fest of love.
No one dared complain. Friends and family had had their fill of shock and misery just three years prior when we lost a man who was knitted into this community of mud dancers-–he was my husband of 21 years, my boys’ dad, my darling in-laws’ son, my nephews’ uncle, a brother and brother-in-law, and a best friend. He meant something to all in attendance. We weren’t totally done with our mourning, we never would be, but that day we were all ready to celebrate. Bill had captured us all with his smile, his laugh, his sincerity, his love, his steadiness and his generosity. And now we were celebrating a new beginning with a man who was welcomed in with a communal hug and had fast become a friend to all. Talk about a second chance!
So maybe I was lucky! My eldest sister always said I was, but I never could see it. I just say “Yes” a lot and try to move obstacles away when they block my path–but some things just can’t be avoided.
Widowhood is just plain bad luck. It’s a showstopper. Curtain down, game over. Dreams cauterized. Gone, dead, over–that’s the deal. You can’t lose someone you love and rationalize it. When the shock subsides, memories flood in and fill the gaps and spaces, but the loss of a partner feels like an impossible pit out of which you can’t climb. Or so you think.